LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation creating the MISS DIG Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety Act. Senate Bills 539 and 540, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Nofs, update a 40-year-old state law designed to prevent damage to Michigan’s valuable underground infrastructure. “As more and more of our important infrastructure is placed underground, this needed legislation will better help Michiganders protect it and themselves from damage and danger,” Snyder said. SB 540 establishes the act. It requires excavators to call MISS DIG before digging underground and requires underground facility owners and operators to mark underground facilities so they can avoid being damaged by excavators. The bill provides civil and criminal penalties for violation of the act, including a general civil enforcement process and a specific process for local governments, both to be administered by the Michigan Public Service Commission. The bill also requires the commission to implement provisions for reporting and tracking damages to underground facilities, and to make the data publicly available on its website. The bill is now Public Act 174 of 2013. The companion SB 539 updates existing law relating to penalties and liability for damage to underground facilities by governmental agencies. It is now PA 173. The new laws go into effect on April 1, 2014. MISS DIG is a nonprofit, statewide one-call excavation safety and utility damage-prevention company that works to safeguard...Read More
Month: November 2013
Survey shows how broadband benefits Michigan’s economy; 25% adoption gap remains Lansing, MI – Today, Connect Michigan released results from its 2013 Business Technology Survey that detail the key role broadband plays in business performance and the implications for a continuing economic recovery. The survey reveals that Michigan businesses earn an estimated $28 billion annually from online sales to consumers and other businesses. The survey shows that broadband is a vital economic engine for small businesses as well as the rest of the state, allowing businesses, industry sectors, and communities to thrive, grow, and prosper. However, Connect Michigan estimates that approximately 52,000 Michigan businesses – 25% of businesses across the state – still do not utilize broadband technology. “Broadband and related technologies are essential for small businesses, particularly in rural areas, to sustain and grow themselves,” said Connect Michigan State Program Manager Eric Frederick. “An Internet connection can assist businesses in decreasing expenditures by automating various functions while also increasing revenue by providing access to a global marketplace.” Among the report’s key findings: Nearly one-half of small businesses in Michigan (48%, or approximately 90,000 small businesses) rely on broadband to advertise their goods and services to customers around the globe. Nearly two-thirds of businesses in Michigan (66%) say it is important for new employees to have some type of computer or Internet-related skills. Yet an estimated 84,000 Michigan businesses...Read More
(Washington, DC) —As we enter this season of thanksgiving, Social Security Works and the Strengthen Social Security Coalition acknowledge a debt of gratitude to past and present generations of hard-working Americans who built our nation’s Social Security system. The following are statements from the founding co-directors of Social Security Works and the co-chairs of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign: “As Americans from all walks of life face a looming retirement crisis, stemming from a lack of well-funded pensions and the failure of the 401k system, Social Security continues to be the nation’s strongest protection against loss of income in old age, disability and when a parent or spouse dies. Far more than a program for seniors, Social Security is a trust that spans generations and a celebration of the American spirit. We give thanks for this institution and for the people whose foresight and hard work sustain Social Security.” — Eric Kingson, Co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Coalition. “The nation should give thanks for our Social Security system. Social Security is the most universal, fair, secure, and efficient retirement income arrangement in the country. It provides America’s workers and their families with vital life insurance and disability insurance protection. Social Security’s many strengths together with the many weaknesses of private sector retirement arrangements and the rarity of private long-term disability insurance makes one thing perfectly clear: It is...Read More
U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Two Cases on Obamacare HHS Mandate Abuses Washington, DC) Yesterday, the US Supreme Court has agreed to review both the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp challenges to the HHS Mandate. On October 15, 2013, Thomas More Society had petitioned the Court to review and reverse the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision that denied Autocam Corporation, an international automotive manufacturer, and its owners, protection against governmental violation of constitutionally protected religious freedoms. The Supreme Court will likely hold the Autocam case pending its decision on these other two HHS mandate cases. John Kennedy, CEO of the Michigan-based family-owned company, Autocam, believes, like the owners of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp, that the government has no right to require his company to purchase group insurance that provides its employees with coverage for contraceptives, including abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization. Kennedy and his family faithfully embrace the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church that contraception, abortion, and sterilization are seriously wrong. “We are pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga cases and are confident that the Justices will recognize the intrinsic and constitutionally protected right of each American to freely exercise his or her religious faith – not only in worship – but in all aspects of American life, public or private, personal...Read More
Lansing Man Sentenced To 25 Years In Federal Prison For Role In Drug Dealing In Mount Vernon Area Of Northwest Lansing
Lansing and ATF Investigation Results in 80% Decrease in Calls for Service in Area GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — Merza Mizori, 24, of Lansing, Michigan was sentenced to 300 months (25 years) in federal prison for distributing over 28 grams of crack cocaine, U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr., Acting Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Daryl R. McCrary, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Chief Michael Yankowski, Lansing Police Department (LPD), announced today. In addition to the prison term, U.S. Chief District Judge Paul L. Maloney imposed five years of supervised release that commences once Mizori is released from imprisonment. In 2010, LPD and ATF initiated a joint investigation into criminal activity in the Mount Vernon Public Housing area as a result of a large volume of calls for service in the area for drug trafficking and firearm violence. The joint investigation identified Mizori, who lived in a Mount Vernon unit, as one of the individuals responsible for dealing crack cocaine in the area. In January 2013, a federal grand jury indicted Mizori, his brother Serwan Mizori, 23; Christapher Jones, 22; Gregory Dalton, 24; and DeShun Dalton, 22, with multiple drug charges. Mizori pled guilty to the distribution charge and the others pled guilty to various charges. Chief Judge Maloney sentenced the others to federal prison as follows: Serwan Mizori to 240 months (20 years) in prison...Read More
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